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Birth weight and head circumference predict IQ and motor performance at 4 years of age

Birth weight and head circumference predict IQ and motor performance at 4 years of age
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Bochum (ots)

Bochum’s medics have discovered a simple method to predict IQ and neurologic performance at 4 years preschool age. They prospectively screened 5,301 infants by cranial ultrasound and extrapolated the results of a previous study from the same center in which both cranial ultrasound and psychomotor development (Intelligence quotient (IQ), Maze test (MT), and Neurologic examination (NOS)) were measured. Most interestingly, the birth weight divided by head circumference (weight-head circumference ratio) correlated closely with the predicted IQ (pIQ) and neurologic examination score (pNOS). “These findings that have been validated in a large perinatal survey cohort (n=508,926) allow for early intervention and support strategies to improve school performance and educational success later in life”, says Prof. Dr. Arne Jensen of the Campus Clinic Gynecology at the Ruhr-University Bochum, and continues: “this is particularly important for those infants that are born seemingly healthy that would normally escape further diagnostic assessment. Together with his colleague Gerd Neuhäuser, MD, he reports in the "American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Global Reports” (, )


  • Jensen A, Neuhäuser G, Jensen KO. Growth variables and brain damage at birth predict developmental disability at four years of age: a basis for individual preschool support. Ann Pediatr. 2019;2:1017. []
  • Jensen A. Pediatric stroke and cell-based treatment - Pivotal role of brain plasticityJ Stem Cell Res Transplant. 2019; 6(1): 1029, 22 pages []
  • Jensen A, Holmer B. “White Matter Damage in 4,725 Term-Born Infants Is Determined by Head Circumference at Birth: The Missing Link,” Obstetrics and Gynecology International, vol. 2018, Article ID 2120835, 12 pages, 2018. [doi:10.1155/2018/2120835]
  • Jensen A, Hamelmann E. First Autologous Cord Blood Therapy for Pediatric Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Palsy Caused by Cephalic Molding during Birth: Individual Treatment with Mononuclear Cells", Case Reports in Transplantation, vol. 2016, Article ID 1717426, 9 pages, 2016.
  • Jensen A, Neuhäuser G. Association of weight-length ratio at birth with psychomotor trajectories among preschool-aged children. AJOG Glob Rep. 2022 Oct 2;2(4):100115. doi: 10.1016/j.xagr.2022.100115. PMID: 36275404; PMCID: PMC9579794.

Bibliographic record

Jensen A, Neuhäuser G. Growth variables and obstetrical risk factors in newborns are associated with psychomotor development at preschool age.. AJOG Glob Rep. 2023 May.


Figure: Close relation between predicted IQ (pIQ) at 4 years of age and birth weight / head circumference ratio (W/HC) (z-score units) in 5,301 newborns (Jensen A, Neuhäuser G.


Arne Jensen, RUB, Campus Clinic, Phone +49 234/588196-0

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